If you’re indecisive, we recommend the LED Digital Alarm Clock. It’s a no nonsense approach to an alarm clock with all of the vital features intact in a reliable and cheap package. On the other hand, if you’re willing to do the legwork then read on, we’ll show you five of the best and then give you all the information you need to turn this seemingly simple purchase into a life-enhancing decision.
We’ve all been there, you forgot to charge your phone again and it’s now an hour past the time you were supposed to be up. Barely enough time for a cold shower, a dead sprint, and a speeding ticket on the way to work.
If you’re looking for a solid, basic digital alarm clock that’ll work no matter what you’ll be in good hands with this generic option.
Top 5 Alarm Clocks
|Travelway LED||Yes||5||Check Price|
|Philips Wake-Up Light||No||4.5||Check Price|
|Sonic Alert||Yes||4||Check Price|
|Mesqool AM/FM||No||4||Check Price|
|GLISTENY Humidity||Yes||3||Check Price|
1. Best Overall
LED Digital Alarm Clock
If you’ve been looking for a solid alarm clock, then you’ll be in good hands with this generic option. Featuring a pleasant, modern design and a large LCD for easy reading it’s one of the best around.
This is a no-frills model, if you’re looking for something which will be absolutely outstanding you’re in the wrong place here, but the price is right for something to make sure that you wake up on time each and every morning.
The only real bonus is that it has a night light for those who need it. Add in a battery backup to ensure that it always wakes you up, even if the power goes down, and it’s a good way to make up sure you’re always up on time.
Pros and Cons
- Easy-to-read LCD screen
- Battery backup to ensure it’s always powered
- Integrated night light
- Simple to setup
- No extra frills
- Light enough it’s easily moved when you reach for the snooze button
2. Best Light Therapy Alarm Clock
Philips Wake-Up Light
Light therapy is all the rage these days, and Phillips has the science to back it up. It’s the original light therapy alarm clock and it’s still one of the best, we highly recommend these for those who end up waking up in a terrible mood.
The clock will slowly bring light in around as the time comes to awaken, which has been proven to help with that transition by mimicking a natural circadian rhythm. It has an FM radio built in as well, making it function as more than your usual alarm clock.
It’s also a bit expensive, but most people will find that it’s well worth it by the end of the day. Since it can also replace a bedside lamp, you’re really getting two devices in one and it has ten different levels of light so you can keep things as hot or as dim as you want. If you’re the type who likes to snooze, you can also just tap the device rather than having to fumble for the button.
If you’re looking for a light therapy clock, we recommend you stick with the best and the brightest. The Phillips Wake-Up Light is exactly what you’ve been looking for, and it still outshines its cheaper competitors.
Pros and Cons
- Advanced light therapy alarm clock
- Integrated FM radio
- Can be used as a lamp
- Snooze button is as simple as touching the clock
- Round shape is fairly easy to knock over in morning confusion
3. Best Alarm Clock for the Heavy Sleeper
Sonic Alert SBB500SS
For some of us, the fight for getting up is more than just there: it’s a wonder we wake up at all. If you’re the type of world-class snoozer who can’t be woken by a lesser alarm clock then you’ll want to take a look into picking this one up.
But, and it’s a big but, if you can wake up with a normal alarm clock then you may find this to be a bit much.
The biggest difference between this alarm and the majority of others on the market is this: this thing is loud. It pulses light. It screams at you to get up and get your day started. It even shakes the bed. For most of us, it’ll be a bit much.
But for the heavy sleeper, there’s no better option than the Sonic Alert. It comes with everything needed to shock a hibernating bear into getting it’s day started, so you’ll be woken up pretty much no matter what.
Pros and Cons
- Extremely loud alarm
- Shakes you awake
- Flashing lights
- Guaranteed to wake up anyone still breathing
- Too loud for the average person
- May wake up the neighbors, this is a serious alarm
4. Best Projection Alarm Clock
Mesqool AM/FM Digital
We love projection alarm clocks, positioned properly you can check the time without even having to roll over. This is definitely the best of the lot, giving a clear projection over an extended length.
The projector itself is able to be moved 180° and it’s attached to a slim and modern styled display. It also has another big advantage: the alarm noise will slowly build up, waking you gradually rather than shocking you awake like most alarm clocks.
The display itself also has three different settings for the brightness which you prefer, adding to its utility.
If you’ve been looking for something a bit different, but aren’t quite ready to commit to a light therapy clock then you’ll be well off with the Mesqool AM/FM Projection Alarm Clock.
Pros and Cons
- Projector to allow you to see the time on the roof or wall
- Can charge your smartphone
- Integrated AM/FM radio
- Dimmer on brightness display
- White display isn’t ideal for sleep
- Audio for radio is pretty bad
5. Best Budget Alarm Clock
GLISTENY Humidity Monitor
If you’re looking for a budget alarm clock that handles a wide array of different statistics, then you’re in good hands with the GLISTENY. It’ll show you just about everything you could possibly want on its LCD display and it still functions as an alarm clock.
It’s also super cheap, which just adds to it in our eyes.
The main problem is that the build-quality really isn’t all that great, and it’s really easy to knock it over when you’re fumbling with sleep still in your eyes.
On the other hand, this is the most awesome multi-functional alarm clock we were able to find and we feel like it stands out from the rest we reviewed, while remaining something great for those on a budget.
Pros and Cons
- Displays weather, humidity, comfort levels, and a ton of other statistics
- Battery powered
- Highly portable, lightweight design
- Large and easy to read screen
- Lower build quality
- Alarm isn’t super loud, only for light sleepers
But Why Bother?
Or maybe you just can’t stand that old-school buzz of that ancient ringer sitting on your dresser and want to upgrade to something more high-tech.
At the end of the day there’s a myriad of different reasons you might want to pick up a new alarm clock, and we aren’t one to judge… your reasons that is. Instead, we’re here to show you five of our favorites and help you pick the right one for your unique lifestyle.
To be fair here, most people use their smart phones as their alarms these days. We certainly know that most of our reviewers did, and some went back after they were done with their testing too. It’s pretty convenient, after all, since most of us pretty much always have one around.
There’s a lot of buzz out there about different reasons that we should be using alarm clocks, and some of them sound like pseudoscience until you see the papers behind them:
- If you set your alarm shortly before going to bed, there’s two problems. The first is that the blue light triggers biological changes. The second is… well, who just sets their alarm. There’s always going to be the temptation to check in on Facebook or whatever and that also wastes time and makes your mind active.
- Your phone may be able to gradually open up with softer sounds, but it’s not going to be able to replicate a natural sunrise. This is an important part of our circadian rhythm that most of us ignore in modern life.
- You don’t have to worry about the battery running out on most alarm clocks, which is something that happens with our phones more often than most of us care to admit. You also aren’t out of luck if you temporarily lose your phone.
- Good alarm clocks have a slew of features which you simply won’t get with your phone.
If none of the above sounds appealing to you, then you may want to skip out on adding one of these to your home, but we think that at least one of the above reasons is more than enough for most people to pick one up even if it’s our budget option.
First Up: The Display
The display is one of the most important parts of your alarm clock. It needs to be clear to read, so it can function as a clock, but since it’s designed only to wake you up there’s also a few different things that you’ll need to be sure of with it.
The first is that it’s not too bright. Too much light and you’ll have trouble sleeping with it by your bedside… which pretty much eliminates any advantage of using it over your phone.
On the other hand, to be useful as a clock you’ll want to make sure that you can see it from across the room as well. It’s a bit of a trade-off and if you’re going with a traditional display then your best bet is to look for a red LCD.
Dimmable displays are also highly recommended. That way you can keep the light going, but you’ll also be able to sleep without any difficulty.
That Snooze Button…
Most people are going to want to hit the snooze button once in a while. That means easy access to this vital feature is key to snag another five or ten minutes of sleep.
On the other hand, if you’ve got a tendency to hammer the button repeatedly and end up being late to get the day started you may want to look into a “novelty” alarm clock designed to make sure you wake up, or one lacking the feature altogether.
This is a personal choice, of course, but make sure that you pick the one which will be the most useful in your daily life.
Battery backups are a nicety, although not super necessary. At the very least they’ll keep you from having to reset the alarm in the morning if the power blips off at night, at best it can be a complete lifesaver if the power grid goes down while you’re asleep.
Really, battery backups are pretty much required for those who rely on their alarm to keep them on schedule in the morning.
The Alarm Itself
Are you the type who can sleep through an earthquake?
Then there are alarms for you out there. They’ll flash lights, make loud noises, buzz, and generally make a nuisance of themselves.
On the other hand, most of us will appreciate a more normal alarm, as opposed to something which is going to drag us up from the depths of slumber with adrenaline pumping and getting ready to re-enact 1950s era nuclear war drills.
Most just make a good, long series of beeps. Obnoxious, but not overkill, and that’s the way to go for the average sleeper. Just know that there’s something out there for everyone.
The newest “fad” in the construction of alarm clocks comes in pretty handy for some people.
The idea is something like this: your body is inclined to naturally wake up as the sun rises. Most of the time we don’t do that, either awakening in a darkened room or before the sun has peeked above the horizon. What if an alarm clock could fix that?
So, now we have alarm clocks which slowly begin to increase in brightness as they wake you up rather than suddenly jarring you awake. They’re even sometimes combined with audio slow wake-up methods, bringing you out of your deep sleep slowly and naturally.
Our reviewers had a couple of reactions to it, one noticed pretty much no difference and the other thought it was the greatest thing ever so we’re a bit mixed on whether or not to recommend them.
From what we can tell, if you’re a hard waker then they’re awesome but they’re not really worth the extra money if you spring forth from bed in the morning ready for your day already.
The Other Stuff
While everything we’ve discussed so far is part of the alarm clock itself, like any electronic device there’s a bunch of additional functionality that adds to the cost and may, or may not, make the device more useful for you.
- USB ports are nice and can be used to charge your phone or tablet in a convenient location. The amperage on them really doesn’t matter, since you’ll usually be charging overnight.
- Some alarm clocks have radios integrated, you might even be able to use them to wake up in the morning. Whether you think that’s great or not is really a personal choice overall.
- Bluetooth functionality allows some of the high-end alarm clocks to be used as a wireless speaker in addition to their normal uses. We think it’s a bit overkill, especially considering the jump in price, but again it can be pretty handy.
- Multiple wake up sounds are a fantastic, and underutilized, feature. Sometimes that harsh repeated noise just kills the morning before it’s even begun and being able to pick just the right sound for your personality is pretty great.
Basically, you may want to take a look and see if any of the extras available with your alarm clock are something you really need or not. Even if you don’t need them, they may make your life a whole lot easier and that’s always a great thing.
While your phone may be convenient, you can get a lot of extra functionality by picking out the best alarm clock for your home. Extra noises, Bluetooth functionality, light therapy, whatever you might need can usually be found at a low enough price for the average person, and if you combine them with the things you really need then you’ll be in good hands and waking up easier than ever.